I had the privilige of studying with Elio more than a few times. The comradery bred in that first class along with the vast information that was brought forth compelled me to study with him more and more in the coming years. Elio had always said how glass had taught him how to live life outside of the shop. Over time while he was teaching and sharing with us, it was us, his students that were learning how a glass master works in and out of the shop and how to shape our trajectory accordingly. When we would gather outside of the studio we would all discuss our lives back home and the things we enjoy apart from glass. It was like a personal, intimate, cultural exchange where Elio was as interested in your origins as you were in his. It was never long before wide eyed students veered the talk back towards his incredible glass history. Factory stories from his childhood all the way through the stories of being caught working for factories in the black after retirement, Elite comes to mind, Elio was enriching us with a dose of culture and technical skill that was unrivaled. Perhaps my greatest and most influential moment with Elio was just before my last class with him and on the way to Corning we ran into each other in the philly airport. I had opened my own hot shop since last I had studied with Elio and was eager to show him my promotional materials for the upcoming Baltimore and Philly shows. With Adrianna and his daughter we all sat down for a meal and begun to discuss my images and body of work. After studying with Elio several times over the past years it was with great pride that I showed him my body of work. That conversation with its compliments and advice still resound with me and rudder me to this day and will stay with me forever. Thank you maestro! And thank you Adrianna and The Studio at Corning.
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